If there's one thing people in Northern California hate to do, it's travel to Southern California, especially Los Angeles, and the parts surrounding it. Over the years, I've learned that putting such pettiness is aside is worth it to gain access to the booming culinary and cocktail scene found in th ... More >>
Harvest time in wine country is quickly approaching and it's time to start making plans to head up north to "help" -- drink wine -- with this year's harvest. While you may be thinking about Napa Valley with its sleek tasting rooms and celebrity chefs, unassuming and rustic Sonoma has just as much to ... More >>
We're always on the lookout for great wines at the $40 and under price point, and Pinot Noir, with its continued popularity and finicky farming, is often hard to find at the caliber we want that economically. So it's all the more sad when we find one and then learn it's sold out for direct order. S ... More >>
The View From Gary FarrellAccording to William "Rusty" Gaffney, M.D., aka The Prince of Pinot, "Some consider Gary Farrell the father of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir." While Gary himself has long ago left the vineyard, the fog-shrouded winery he built with Bill Hambrecht is still producing pr ... More >>
The only sure way to develop your palate for wine is to taste more. When you get the chance to taste older, rarer, or more expensive wines than you might normally dink, take it.
That opportunity presents itself this Thursday at San Francisco Wine Center during the Wine Gavel pre-auction tastin ... More >>
Earlier this year I attended a fascinating seminar, led by a perfumer, at Tolosa Winery in San Luis Obispo County. Over the course of several mentally exhausting hours, we learned by blind-whiffing essential oils exactly what many of the descriptors we use all the time smell like.
For examp ... More >>
This is another little extra for this week's review of Bar Tartine in the print edition: an interview with the man who made one of the most impressive wines on the restaurant's very interesting wine list.
Liza GershmanDan PetroskiWhen I called Dan Petroski to ask him how he managed to make M ... More >>
The "R" at the end of "noir" is not silent. The letter is meant to produce a distinct sound, and, in effect, "pinot noir" rhymes with "film noir." But in the upper echelons of wine drinking society, some say "pinot nu-aaah." Have you noticed? One must guess they think they're quite cultured when pro ... More >>
Neeta Lind/FlickrA $43 wine should deliver brilliance, and Romililly Pinot Noir does. This is the 2006.I certainly appreciate a good deal on wine, and try to expose as many bargains as I can. But as a wine lover, sometimes you just want the comfort of a treasured favorite, whether or not you ... More >>